MissionForce: Cyberstorm (Sierra On-Line) bills itself as a sim, so we’re willing to include it here despite the fact that the contest it simulates won’t occur for hundreds of years, if ever. Sierra likens the game-play elements, which focus on devising strategy before sitting back and watching events play out, to sim games (think Conquest of the New World). This cyberpunk excursion posits a future in which bad guys and good guys (us) fight each other on distant worlds using HERC fighters, cyborg/hybrids of man and machine. Customize your HERC with weapons, scanners, shields, etc.; assemble an entire force, then try to complete a mission. Each HERC must be fused with a humanoid, and – charmingly enough – your humanoids are mere cattle, whom you “jack-up” with a synthetic stimulant when you want better performance (but “jack them up” too far and they die). If a humanoid displeases you, melt him down into raw genetic material and start again. The parts of the “sim” that take place at your home base are heavy with sci-fi ideas and neat graphics, but there’s no action; the real grist of the game is the regular battles on alien planets, which are straightforward strategy excursions. Gather ore, destroy enemy hide-outs, or guard your own installation until your mission is complete or your HERCs are all dead. We recommend this one for its engaging battles and well-thought-out background stories, although it’s a shame that they have so little to do with each other.
– September 1996
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